1Listen from 0:06
Once upon a time in the Far East there lived a very bad wizard. Everywhere he went little kids would point fingers at him and yell, “Baddie! Baddie! Bad guy!” Every time he walked down the street, the old ladies and the old men would take out their walking sticks and poke him in the ribs.
“ You’re a very baaad wizard. ”
As I am sure you can imagine, this made the wizard very, very cross. In the beginning he thought it was just stupid kids and, well, old people losing their minds.
But soon he started to feel really offended and eventually he started taking it personally. He felt sad because he thought no one liked him, and then he got angry and thought:
“ Well, I don’t care if nobody likes me - I’ll make them like me. ”
2Listen from 0:57
So off he marched up to the palace and used his magic to blow down the gates, and the guards got such a fright they didn’t even know what to do, and before they knew it he was standing right next to the king.
The wizard said, “This is my kingdom now – tell them, King!” and the king was so scared that the wizard was going to use the spell he used to blow away the mighty gates to blow him away as well, that he said:
“Yes, yes … Everybody, this is my new advisor, and he has advised me that he is now the king. Please, everybody, listen to him or he will blow you away.”
Everybody bowed down to the new king but in fact they were only bowing because their knees were so shaky that if they didn’t bow down they might have fallen over.
3Listen from 1:43
Only one person didn’t bow down: the bamboo princess. Now, in case you didn’t know, the bamboo princess got her name because she has a special power over bamboo. She can make the bamboo do anything she wants it to, just like magic!
“Oh, I’m not going to bow down to you,” she said, “I don’t bow down to anyone,” and the king looked up to the bad wizard and said, “It’s true, she doesn’t even bow down to me.”
“Well, you will bow down to me,” said the bad wizard, who stomped his foot” – stomp! stomp! – “or I will throw you in the deep dark scary dungeon I’m going to build beneath this palace, where I’ll keep all the children and the crazy old people and princesses and everyone else who will not bow to me, and I won’t let you out until you learn to bow to your new king!”
The princess yelled, “You’re not a king, you’re just a big bad meanie!” and ran away.
4Listen from 2:42
The wizard shouted, “Guards, stop her!” and they tried to stop her with long poles that they swung down at her feet. Boom! boom! But she pulled a stick of bamboo from her pocket and blocked both of their attacks, and then she used another piece of bamboo to trip the guards and they fell over. Crash!
She ran to the palace wall. Luckily the wizard had blown the palace gate over, so there was nothing to stop her, and she ran away down a secret path through the bamboo, and it seemed as if the very bamboo was on her side because it closed the path behind her.
“Oh, where did she go?” said the guards.
“No matter,” said the wizard, “we will look for her another time. She is just a girl; she will not survive in the wilderness.”
5Listen from 3:33
The princess ran through the bamboo forest the whole day, and eventually she sat down. So the bamboo bent down to make her a nice, comfortable chair and when she wanted to lie down, it made a nice, comfortable bed.
The breeze blew through the bamboo – whooo whooooo – and gently rocked her bamboo bed. Before long she got very sleepy, and then she started snoring a little.
While she was sleeping, she had a dream about a panda eating bamboo – chomp! chomp! It was a big panda, the size of a mountain. “Ooow!” he said, as he put his finger inside his mouth and felt that he had a piece of bamboo stuck in his gum. “Ow, ow, my gum is so sore!” he said..
The little bamboo princess started tossing and turning. In her dream, the big panda was thundering around the forest. Boom! Boom! Boom! His stomping caused earthquakes and tidal waves!
6Listen from 4:45
Eventually the panda came to a stream. He stuck his face in the water and started gulping it all up. Sluuurp slurp. The panda desperately wanted to get the splinter out of his gum, so he drank and drank, until the stream shouted at him, “Please stop! If you drink any more there won’t be any water left for the fish!”
The panda bear was crying because his mouth was so sore. The stream said, “I have an idea. Put your face in the water and I will rush over your gum and then maybe the splinter will come out.”
So the panda put his face in the water and held it there while the stream rushed as fast as it could. Eventually the splinter started tweaking and twigging and out it came! The panda was so relieved and so happy that he gave the stream a big hug, and swore that from that day on he would protect it from anyone who tried to drink it all up.
7Listen from 5:50
The princess woke up and said, “Mmm, what does this dream mean?” She spent the whole morning looking at the bamboo hoping to get the answer. Then suddenly she got it. She jumped up and ran back through the forest all the way to the palace. As she ran, she grabbed a few very special bamboo shoots and put them in her pocket.
The princess marched all the way up to the palace and demanded to see the bad wizard. “Ah”, said the bad wizard, “I did not think that a little girl like you would have survived all alone in the wilderness, but I am glad that you did because now I get to defeat you myself! Guards! Get that little brat-princess!”
The guards rushed towards her, but she just pulled a bamboo shoot from her pocket and before they could even take one step, the shoot grew into a strong pole. The princess swung the pole around with a special kung fu technique and defeated all of the guards in one move.
8Listen from 6:51
“Ah,” said the wizard, “you are very good at hand combat, but I am good at this …” and he used a spell to create a tidal wave of water.
The princess grabbed two bamboo shoots from her pocket and put them under her feet. The great wall of water rushed towards her, but she just floated over it on her little bamboo platform.
“Oh, I see that you are very talented with your own bamboo magic, but how about this!” shouted the wizard. The ground below the princess got very, very hot, and then it shattered into a thousand pieces and the princess began to fall into a deep pit of fire below her. The bottom of the pit was flowing with red hot lava, and the princess knew that if she slipped to the bottom she would be toasted.
“Grow! Grow! Grow!” she shouted to the bamboo shoots on her feet. Before the bad wizard could even blink, the bamboo grew like lightening – zip zip zap -and planted itself in the ground. The princess stood on her bamboo stilts high above the flames.
“Aaah!” shouted the bad wizard, “you have overcome two of my four best tricks, but can you overcome this?” And with a mighty gust he breathed in – whooooo – and let it out – shoooooo – and the princess remembered that this was the wind spell that had broken down the gate … but the wizard didn’t know that bamboo is one of the strongest materials in the world. The princess surrounded herself with bamboo, and all she felt inside her little hut was a gentle breeze.
9Listen from 8:28
The wizard started coughing and sputtering and fell on the ground. “Oh no! You are very, very powerful with your bamboo magic.”
But the very bad wizard didn’t want to give in to the bamboo princess – not just yet. Then he thought to himself, “I have used water, I have used fire, I have used air. The last chance I have is to overcome the princess with an earth spell.” So he stamped his foot on the ground as hard as he could. The ground swooped up into an incredible ball of rock and started flying towards the princess.
She took the last piece of bamboo out of her pocket and hurled it at the rock. As the bamboo hit the rock, it grew into a hundred bamboo shoots and split the rock into hundreds of tiny pieces.
The wizard cried, “Noooooo! I have been defeated!” and he fell to his knees.
“I just want to talk to you,” said the princess. “Please, just hear me out!”
10Listen from 9:35
The bad wizard thought about it for a second and said, “You have defeated all of my best magic. Now I have no choice but to do as you say.”
The princess said to the wizard, “While I was sleeping in the forest I had a strange dream. In my dream you were a giant panda bear with a splinter stuck in your gum. You were so sore that you stomped around and nearly destroyed the whole forest. I was a stream, and I flowed through your mouth to get the splinter to wash away.
You see, I understand that the people have been like a sore splinter for you: they have hurt your feelings by being mean and calling you names. I can help you to feel better by being your friend and telling the people to be kind to you. We are both very powerful, and if we combine our magic, we can do wonderful things together.”
The wizard began to cry. “I was only a bad wizard when I was learning spells. It wasn’t my fault that my spells went wrong! I didn’t have anyone to teach me so I had to practice all by myself. But now I am a very good wizard, and I wish that people would see that and accept me in the village.”
11Listen from 10:57
“I will call a meeting of the townspeople and tell them that they are to be kind to you from now on,” said the bamboo princess. “And in return, you will use your earth, air, fire and water magic to help the bamboo grow. Our village will have the best bamboo in all of the lands and we will use it to help the village people.”
“That sounds like a very honourable treaty,” said the wizard, and the two of them shook hands.
From that day on, the village was known throughout the world for its fine bamboo, and merchants travelled from far and wide to purchase it for their own towns. The princess and the wizard remained friends forever, and when the wizard walked down the street the small children and crazy old people would bow down to him and say, “Good morning, great wizard.”
And they all lived happily ever after.